Meta’s second most powerful executive, Sheryl Sandberg, made the shocking announcement Wednesday that she will be leaving after 14 years in office, including helping steer the scandal-plagued Facebook-led leadership. advertising business.
Sandberg, 52, has been one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley, and her departure comes as the social media giant faces an uncertain future and stiff competition.
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Sheryl Sandberg wants to write a new chapter in her life
Her exit from Facebook parent Meta will take effect in the fall, she wrote on the platform, adding that she plans to remain on the company’s board.
A Harvard-educated executive, Sandberg joined Facebook in 2008 as a start-up and played a major role in its development into a multibillion-dollar advertising empire.
“Fourteen years later, it’s time for me to write the next chapter in my life,” Sandberg said.
“I’m not entirely sure what the future will bring – I know no one has ever been like this.”
Sheryl Sandberg’s book encourages women to ‘close up’
Her work has made her not only a well-known face in tech, but a household name, especially thanks to her 2013 book Leaning forward: women, work, and willingness to lead.
The best-selling book encourages women to “dedicate” to their careers to reach their full potential and overcome workforce barriers.
Expressing a new vision of modern feminism, it won applause from admirers and sharp criticism from critics who said her exalted status disconnected her from the grueling personal costs of combining career and family.
US president’s media affairs slam Sheryl Sandberg
The social network has recently rebranded itself, moving towards a belief that the internet is moving towards becoming an immersive virtual world known as Metaverse.
The Silicon Valley giant’s profile has been accused of prioritizing profits over user privacy and even societal interests.
“Sandberg left the social media environment that Meta and Facebook helped create, which was much worse than she found,” said Angelo Carusone, president of U.S. media affairs.
“Her legacy has led to trolling, harassment and abuse.”
Meanwhile, the likes of TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and even Apple are now vying with Meta for people’s online attention, as the Facebook platform is increasingly seen as a place for seniors.
Mark Zuckerberg will miss out on running Facebook with Sheryl Sandberg
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Sandberg’s role at the company would be reshaped, with Javier Olivier becoming Meta’s chief operating officer.
Zuckerberg said the next chief operating officer will be more traditional, unlike the close second-in-command that Sandberg holds.
“She taught me a lot, and she was there for many important moments in my life, both personally and professionally,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
“I’m going to miss running this business with Shirley.”
Meta shares fell more than 2% on the news of Sandberg’s departure, dealing another blow to a stock’s value that has plummeted on fears that the company’s normal growth is coming to an end.
Sheryl Sandberg has long been seen as an ‘adult’ on Facebook
Facebook was only about 4 years old when Sandberg became a full-fledged mentor to tech companies with the motto “move fast, break things.”
“I’m only 23 and know almost nothing about running a company,” Zuckerberg said.
“Sheryl has built our advertising business, hired great people, shaped our management culture, and taught me how to run a company.”
Zuckerberg’s farewell to Sandberg made Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi feel like he believed he had outdone her.
“It feels like the relationship is no longer needed or working,” Milanesi told AFP.
Sandberg, long seen as an “adult” running the young company, has found herself at the center of controversy over her role in fending off criticism of the social media giant.
Sandberg, in particular, came under fire for his embarrassing investigation into billionaire investor George Soros, as he slammed the online web as a “threat to society.”
Facebook acknowledged that Sandberg asked her staff to conduct research on the Hungarian-born billionaire after her speech, out of fears that he would take a “short” position and profit from a drop in the stock price.
Sheryl Sandberg is more robust on Facebook
Among the tech prodigies, Sandberg offers more steady help thanks to her background working for former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Google’s philanthropy arm.
In 2015, Sandberg was devastated by the sudden death of her husband, U.S. tech executive David Goldberg, at an upscale resort in Mexico.
Two years ago, she announced her engagement to marketing executive Tom Bernthal.
© AFP/Glenn Chapman